I write one last post with my writing partner. Savannah has been my constant companion for a dozen years. For 12 years, Savannah has followed me from room to room. She has been yelled at for being right under my feet and tripping me a million times.
But, the last exasperated “Savannah!” left my lips days ago. Today my companion is too weak and tired to follow me about. We have a few short hours left together.
I may have to answer to God for today when I get to heaven. My some thinking I am playing God today. I have made the choice to stop the suffering of my beloved companion. A choice I actually made years ago. When my son was dying, man’s meddling was forcing his life to go beyond God’s allotted time. With Savannah, I knew I could choose to stop the suffering or even prevent it. When the vet called and said the results were not what we hoped for me there was no other choice. For a moment the vet spoke of doing things to make her comfortable and extending our pup’s days. Obviously, she did not know who she was dealing with – she is new to the vet’s practice. I feel guilt that I even opted to wait this extra day.
But, the extra day is special. Last night Savannah got to sleep in the bed with her girl. We should all spend our last night on this earth being cuddled by the one who loves us most. My daughter and her pup have grown up together. They are just one year apart. Savannah notified us when the baby cried and sat with her head on the baby’s bouncy seat while I showered. Licked a million pounds of baby food off the baby, the floor, and every other place the baby dropped food. Savannah has licked away 11 years of tears. Gotten 11 years of hugs and love and acted as a replacement sibling and best friend. If there was a picture snapped over the years in our home – Savannah was in it or nearby.
The big green crate or Savannah’s house was been invaded many times. Years ago, my daughter was small enough to climb inside with Savannah. I have pictures of the “puppies” inside the crate, door pulled shut. No one else allowed. More recently, Kallie –cat has been fit to inhabit the dog crate. I guess it is safe and cozy place.
Today we will lie on the couch. Pray for some sunshine to grace our porch, because Savannah loves to lounge in the sun. Pick up our girl from school. Get petted and loved. Most likely Savannah will arrive at the vet with her coat soaked in my daughter’s tears.
Tomorrow life will be different. The cats will be confused. Looking for “their dog” to rub on and love. I will not have to stand in the cold or the rain urging Savannah to hurry up and go. Things will need to be disposed of…dog food, flea drops, dog toys, and the crate that has served as Savannah’s personal space for years.
My daughter will face the very first day without a dog, with no one to lick tears off her face.
I thought it would be easier. I thought this would mean freedom from dog responsibility. In the end though, I think it will mean greater emotional responsibility. We have lost the confidant who gives unconditional love. The quiet unassuming member of the family, who always put her own needs last will be gone.
We hope that we will have good enough lives to be graced by Savannah in heaven. Because in reality, she is the member of the family most deserving to sit at the feet of Jesus, the ultimate servant heart is in a faithful dog.